I'm setting up this Ubuntu dual boot. I have two users, one called smallcomputer that is supposed to be an administrator account, and one called bob that I plan to use bob for everyday surfing and stuff. I will use the adminstrator account for doing advanced stuff like changing system configuration. Bob doesn't have a password, but smallcomputer has.

I would like the system to boot into bob's account directly when I start the computer, and not ask which account I want to log in to. How do I do that? I feel this should be able to be done since he does not have a password.

I also have some problem with when I'm logged in as bob and want to do a sudo command. Sometimes I see tutorials online about changing something and they say "write this in the terminal". I can never execute a sudo command logged in as bob. I tried typing my adminstrator password and typing no password at all (just pressing return) and the terminal just says it's the wrong password. Those are the only accounts I know of on the system. If I'm logged in as administrator I have no problem executing sudo commands. Why can't I do it from the regular user account? Does calling sudo (when logged in as bob) try to log in as administrator account or is it some level beyond that like some root account?

It's Ubuntu 12.10.
Thanks for any help

2 Answers 2


Since you are the main user who needs administrative privileges to install software, you should give your user id "bob" administrative privileges. If you are the only user on this computer, then you only need one account and it should have administrative privileges. Ubuntu will safely run "bob" with out administrative privileges until it is needed (example installing software). Ubuntu will then ask you for your password allowing you to run an administrator task.
If your home folder and documents are already saved under "bob", I would give "bob" administrative privileges first and then delete the "smallcomputer" user. To do this you will need to login as "smallcomputer" first:

  1. Log in as "smallcomputer" Go under "system settings" > "user accounts" > select "bob" > select "unlock" button in upper right window > authenticate "smallcomputer" by entering in "smallcomputer's" password > change "Account Type" to "administrator" > select "Password" and enter a secure password > log out of "smallcomputer"
  2. Log in as "bob" and you should have to enter a password. Go under "system settings" > "user accounts" > select "smallcomputer" > select "unlock" button in upper right window > authenticate "bob" by entering in "bob's" password > you can delete the account "smallcomputer". If you do not want to delete the account, you should change the account type to "standard" for security purposes.
  • A good complement to my short (and a bit lazy ;-) answer (+1). Hope user129758 cares to return and sees these answers ;-)
    – Sadi
    Feb 10, 2013 at 10:25
  1. I think it would be better for you and others if you can break down this whole thing into several steps and questions.
  2. I'm not sure but it seems your scenario is too much under the influence of Windows ;-) Although you would probably need just one user (e.g. bob) with a login password under Ubuntu. You can then set auto-login for this user (see System Settings > User Accounts). And every time you need to perform administrative tasks (e.g. sudo commands) you'll only need to enter your login password, and that's it.
  • I don't see how dual booting windows has any influence on what the user is asking... Feb 9, 2013 at 16:36
  • What I meant was creating two users, one administrator and one regular user, although there is actually one user seems to me a "Windows habit", nothing to do with dual boot of course.
    – Sadi
    Feb 9, 2013 at 21:56
  • Oh! In that context this makes sense. +1, good answer! Feb 10, 2013 at 1:14

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